In Figure Drawing class on Monday, I had to ask a tall student to fix the lights on the ceiling, to adjust them to illuminate the model. One of the advantages of being short and old, I said. Of course, the young students immediately said: “Don’t admit to being old!”
I have a couple of “mature” students in that class. This often raises the level of discussion. Living longer, life skills, older and wiser. I don’t usually think of myself as old, really, but definitely older than my college students. And sometimes the body reminds me that I am not young (not as young as I used to be, of course).
I heard there is a law on Prince Edward Island making it illegal to use the word “older” in some situations. They must use the word elderly. I would prefer to be older, which references wiser. Elderly does imply elder (as in the Native American tradition), but in the Western tradition elderly sounds very old and weak. Today a person in their 80’s is like a person used to be in their 60’s. Such is progress. But to a young person, old is still old, and not the blessing it is to a healthy older person.